What is the TABC and what does it have to do with my event?
The Texas Alcoholic Beverages Commission (TABC) is the public agency responsible for regulating, inspecting and taxing the production and sale of alcoholic beverages within the state. The TABC may or may not have anything to do with your event at all, it depends mainly on the venue. Many venues require that your bartending company provide only TABC certified bartenders.
What’s the difference between a TABC certified bartender and a non-certified bartender?
The TABC certification process covers many different areas regarding the serving of alcohol but the one main areas covered in the training is how to determine if a customer or guest should continue to be served alcohol or not. A certified bartender is trained to know the signs of intoxication, how many drinks they have served a guest and whether they should continue to serve that guest further. This is important not only for the bartending company’s and venue’s liability but also for you as the host. This is also why most venues require that the bartender be the only person that can serve alcohol at an event and do not allow alcohol anywhere in the venue except behind the bar with the bartender. Very few venues allow guests to bring their own alcohol or for there to be bottles of wine or liquor available at the tables for this very reason. It would be difficult for the certified bartender to know when a guest can be served or not served if the guest has been serving themselves without the bartenders knowledge.
Can the bartenders provide the alcohol for your event?
In most cases, no. Alcohol can only be purchased by the host of the event if it is to be served free of charge. In order for the bartending company to purchase and provide alcohol for your event legally they must have a liquor license to do so, much like a bar or restaurant would need and such licensing is cost prohibitive for most event bartending companies. Although we cannot purchase the alcohol for you, we will gladly work with you on letting you know how much you should purchase and can even create shopping lists for you at many of the local liquor stores. We can also pick up and deliver the alcohol to the venue on the day of the event, so long as it has already been paid for.
What if I want to do a cash bar?
If you are thinking that a cash bar will help to keep costs down you might be disappointed to find out that in Texas, that is probably not the case. To sell alcohol of any sort, you need a permit from the TABC. You can get permits for the sale of alcohol for a single event but the cost of such permits usually far outweigh the cost of just purchasing the alcohol yourself and having an open bar. Plus you would need to make sure you have enough cash on hand to make change for everyone and a lot of people do not carry large amounts of cash around. It also slows down the service as well since the bartender not only has to make the guests drinks but also handle money and make change.